EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first of two blog posts concerning the rights some salaried workers have to receiving overtime compensation. Part one will explain the common misconception associated with those who are entitled to overtime pay. Part two will describe how employees will be compensated.

Written by attorney Allen Vaught

Your employer may not be paying you every penny you deserve. If so, the law is on your side.

Many salaried employees are in jobs today who may not know that they deserve at least time and a half pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week. In some cases the employee is wrongfully led to believe that they are not due overtime pay.

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that most employees be paid time and a half overtime compensation when they work more than 40 hours in a week.

Typical positions that commonly fall victim to this violation are sales people, secretaries, administrative assistants, health care workers, field service technicians and oil field workers.

Employees who are generally not due overtime pay are those who are paid a fixed salary of at least $455 per week AND who have primary job duties meeting one of the FLSA exemptions from overtime pay. In other words, someone who is paid a fixed salary may still be due overtime if their job duties do not meet certain federal exemptions. For example, some exceptions to the overtime rule are managers who have the authority to hire and fire workers; certain professionals such as accountants, teachers and engineers; and administrators such as a human resources director who must use independent judgment on significant matters.

Baron and Budd attorney Allen Vaught has represented countless people who have been denied overtime pay. Vaught said that many times employees may not even know if they are due overtime wages. In some cases employees can receive double the lost wages going back three years in addition to attorney’s fees.

If you’re concerned about losing your job for making an inquiry, the federal government has installed some protection. The FLSA provides an anti-retaliation provision which outlaws employers from retaliating against employees for making a good faith inquiry or lawsuit for unpaid overtime wages.

Also, in addition to back pay and liquidated damages, the FLSA states that workers are entitled to recovering attorney’s fees in a successful claim. Every case is different depending on the facts.

Most attorneys, including Vaught, will offer free initial consultations to workers concerned about lost overtime wages. You can contact attorney Vaught at 1.866.495.1255 or via email at avaught@baronbudd.com.

If you feel you may have been a victim it’s OK to speak up. Remember that the law is on your side.